Drink it in! Club Soda’s booze-free festival is back

PUBLISHED: 10:47 17 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:47 17 July 2019

Club Soda Drinking Festival. Picture: Voist LTD.

Club Soda Drinking Festival. Picture: Voist LTD.

© Voist ltd. 2018

If you’ve ever found yourself peer-pressured in to drinking alcohol when, actually, a soft drink or a mocktail would have been fine, then Club Soda may be of interest.

Club Soda Drinking Festival. Picture: Voist LTD.Club Soda Drinking Festival. Picture: Voist LTD.

Styled as a 'mindful drinking movement', it was first set up in 2015 to work towards an atmosphere where nobody has to feel out of place if they'd prefer to avoid the booze. If this sounds intriguing, Club Soda is about to put on a summer festival at Spitalfields Market this Saturday, where they'll showcase some exciting non-alcoholic brands.

Laura Willoughby, Club Soda's co-founder, says: "We have been running Club Soda for four years, and the most popular question we get asked is about what to drink instead of alcohol."

"Not only have we built up an amazing knowledge of the range of drinks out there, but we are also witnessing the explosion in the number of well-crafted and enjoyable alcohol-free drinks."

Club Soda generally looks to step in and support people who want a "sober sprint, to drink more mindfully, or go alcohol-free." The movement has 35,000 members who are tinkering with their drinking habits, and they're forecasting over 5,000 visitors for this weekend's free event - including "the sober curious, mums-to-be, foodies and fitness fanatics."

Club Soda Drinking Festival. Picture: Voist LTD.Club Soda Drinking Festival. Picture: Voist LTD.

The Mindful Drinking Festival will give attendees an opportunity to try a new wave of alcohol-free drinks, inclusive of beers, spirits, wines, kombuchas, shrubs, elixirs and cocktails. There's also going to be live DJ sets and a number of new faces represented among the 40 drinks brands taking part.

This summer's event will put a special focus on botanical alcohol-free spirits, with 13 brands lined up to take part. Known for using exotic and unusual ingredients, Camille Vidal of La Maison Wellness will be curating four cocktail masterclasses on the day, including a session devoted to mixing up alcohol-free espresso martinis - that's from 3.45pm.

Willoughby continues: "Mindful drinkers too deserve beautifully served concoctions, that take them on an intriguing taste journey, and so our festivals are about bringing some of our favourite drinks into one place for everyone to try.

"This exciting array of alcohol-free spirits, beers, wines and ciders is making its way into pubs, healthy alternatives like kombucha and herbal infusions are becoming mainstream, and even Tesco now has an easy-to-find, well stocked alcohol-free drinks aisle.

"Whether you are on a health kick, moderating your drinking habits, pregnant or trying, or just a bit interested in making more mindful drinking choices, this is your chance to find a new favourite tipple."

Saturday July 20, from 11am to 5pm at Spitalfields Market. More details available here.

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